New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Centre for allegedly failing to implement its direction to formulate a law for making iodisation of salt mandatory.
The apex court issued a notice to the Ministry of Health on the petition contending that non-compliance of its directions to take a decision within six months amounts to contempt of the July 4, 2011 order.
A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Jagdish Singh Khehar passed the order after senior advocate A K Panda, appearing for NGO Academy of Nutrition Improvement, contended the apex court had given the Ministry of Health six months time from July 4, 2011, to decide whether such a legislation is necessary.
The apex court had in its July 4, 2011, judgement also held that the government`s ban on sale of non-iodised salt will continue only for the six-month period and if during that time the Centre fails to take action, it would cease to operate.
In its contempt petition, filed through advocate Aurobindo Ghose, the organisation has alleged the Centre violated the apex court`s order by "illegally" passing Regulation 2.3.12 of Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction of Sales) Regulations, 2011, which imposes restriction on sale of non-iodised common salt for direct human consumption.
The apex court in its judgement had held as ultra vires the statutory provision which banned sale of non-iodised salt, but the Centre has replaced that provision with Regulation 2.3.12, the petition alleges.
"The respondent (ministry) has in effect revived the ban on non-iodised common salt and validated the same in terms of Regulation 2.3.12 of the Regulations 2011, which in fact amounts to usurping the judicial power by the executive," the petition has said, while seeking quashing of the provision.